Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects all the skills required for reading, writing and spelling despite normal intellegence.

Is dyslexia infectious?

No, dyslexia is not infectious. It is not a disease but a specific learning difficulty.

Is there likely to be more than one dyslexic child in the same family?

As dyslexia is known to frequently occur in families, more than one child may be affected.

Is dyslexia sometimes a ‘mental block’ which can be helped, especially in children, by doing no reading or writing for a while?

No. Dyslexia is never helped by withdrawing the teaching of reading, writing and spelling. It may however be helpful to use a totally different approach.

Can unsuitable teaching cause or worsen dyslexia?

Unsuitable teaching cannot cause dyslexia but it will certainly aggravate the situation.

Can dyslexia occur suddenly in adult life, perhaps as a result of trauma or accident?

Yes. ‘Acquired dyslexia’ is caused by brain damage but this is different from developmental dyslexia. Acquired dyslexia occurs as a result of strokes or head injuries.

Can children of below average intelligence be dyslexic?

Yes. They will naturally take longer to learn than the more intelligent child but the same pattern of difficulties is present.

What is a cut-off point between dyslexic and non-dyslexic?

It is widely believed that dyslexia occurs on a spectrum, so the idea of a ‘cut-off’ point does not apply.

Can dyslexia be cured?

There is no cure, but much can be done with both support and appropriate teaching. The difficulties become very much less with specific help even though they may not totally disappear.

Is it true that dyslexia is confined to children of middle class families?

No. There are plenty of children from all backgrounds who experience these difficulties.

Are all children and adults who experience difficulty in reading, spelling and writing dyslexic?

No. There are a number of reasons why some people are slower than others in learning to read and write. However, a significant number of people are handicapped by what is called a ‘specific learning difficulty/ dyslexia’. This can be identified by a certified assessor in this particular field.

How does dyslexia affect adult life?

When there is a misunderstanding of the problems brought by dyslexia, the situation is aggravated and therefore the difficulties increase. Awareness of the situation brings a wider understanding and tolerance. On the practical level, fewer problems arise as technology, like dictating machines, video recorders and telephones can be harnessed to facilitate seamless communication. However, unless the actual problem is dealt with, the difficulty with reading (decoding) and writing and spelling (encoding) will always remain.

Credit goes to the British Dyslexia Association ‘Dyslexia Your Questions Answered’, for these FAQs.